Ms. Cornelius responds to the news that education officials in New Zealand have decided to allow students to use text-message-speak on national exams this year. It's a shameful concession, she says:
Are we merely being elitist to expect an academic paper to adhere to certain standards? I hardly think anyone would claim that the expectation to communicate clearly is too rigorous. ...
I've told my students that text-speak is unacceptable in written work. I will also correct the first misspellings of unusual words, such as "laissez-faire," but I take points off for misspelling common words such as cities, because, or soldier. Attention to detail is a discipline which I believe is sadly lacking in American society, and I believe that students can meet this expectation. I refuse to give up on kids and believe that they can't learn to write and think clearly. A compromise on standards nearly always results in a further slide down the slope of unacceptable behavior.